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Injury. 2013 Nov;44(11):1521-7. doi: 10.1016/j.injury.2013.03.015. Epub 2013 Apr 22.

The imbalance between regulatory and IL-17-secreting CD4⁺T cells in multiple-trauma rat.

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  • 1Institute of Orthopaedics, Chinese PLA Beijing Army General Hospital, Dongcheng District, Nanmencang No. 5, Beijing 100700, China. Electronic address:



It has been well recognised that a deficit of numbers and function of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+)cells (Treg) is attributed to the development of auto-immune diseases, inflammatory diseases, tumour and rejection of transplanted tissue; however, there are controversial data regarding the suppressive effect of Treg cells on the T-cell response in auto-immune diseases. Additionally, interleukin-17 (IL-17)-producing cells (Th17) have a pro-inflammatory role. The balance between Th17 and Treg may be essential for maintaining immune homeostasis and has long been thought as one of the important factors in the development/prevention of auto-immune diseases, inflammatory diseases, tumour and rejection of transplanted tissue, but their role in multiple trauma remains unclear.


This study aims to investigate whether an imbalance of Treg and Th17 effector cells is characteristic of rats suffering from multiple trauma.


Sixty Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were randomly divided into three groups. The control group (n=20, group I) no received procedures (normal). The sham group (n=20, group II) only received anaesthesia, cannulation and observation. The bilateral femoral shaft fractures with haemorrhagic shock groups (n=20, group III). Rats in groups II and III were killed at the end of 4h after models were established. Peripheral blood samples were collected for assessment of Treg cells, Th17 cells and cytokines (IL-17, IL-6, IL-2, transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β)) and intestine tissue was collected for intestine histological analysis.


We observed decreased Treg/Th17 ratios in CD4(+)T cells in rats with multiple trauma and a strong inverse correlation with disease activity (intestinal histological scores).


We suggest a role for immune imbalance in the pathogenesis and development of multiple trauma. The alteration of the index of Treg/Th17 cells likely indicates the therapeutic response and progress in the clinic.

Crown Copyright © 2013. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Cytokine; Foxp3; Multiple trauma; Regulatory T cells; Th17 cells

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